C3: Creative Community Courses



8-Week technical crash courses to jumpstart your creativity.

Sessions from 6PM-8PM, once per week.


Branding Design @Cactus
Course Dates: February 20, 2019 – April 10, 2019
Time: Every Wednesday, 6PM-8PM
Location: Cactus, Inc. 2128 15TH ST DENVER CO 80202
Pricing: $379 first four registrations. $425 standard pricing.


Branding Design

Wednesdays 6-8PM / Instructor: Norm Shearer

Branding is more than just design. It’s 50% strategy, 50% design.

Course Overview

Contemporary branding is about connecting a brand or organization to people in meaningful, sustainable, aesthetic and relevant ways. This course will be useful for intermediate or advanced designers, strategists, planners, or entrepreneurs looking to learn more about the branding process and to pick up new tricks to compliment their own processes. Bring your real-world branding assignments and needs to this course for critique and completion.

Course Details

First, Norm will briefly cover the history of branding. Then he will go over contemporary approaches and processes to branding and brand design, including Cactus’ process, which you will use to complete your final projects.

Between sessions, you will work on short-term homework assignments that are incremental and iterative to support the completion of your final project.

This course is directed to intermediate and advanced professionals. Much like an interactive master class, you will experience the process and critique of work in real-time.

Expect to spend a minimum of 3-4 hours per week outside of class to work on your branding assignments.

Workshops will meet on Wednesdays from 6pm-8pm at Cactus in Denver, which is conveniently located at 15th and Little Raven in LoDo, close to Union Station.

About Your Instructor

Norm Shearer has been Chief Creative Officer at Cactus since 2003. At the core of Norm’s philosophy is the notion that everyone needs to be more creative, not just the creatives.

“The term ‘creative’ is not individual to the designers and copywriters of Cactus, but for our entire team, plus our clients and their partners. It’s about everyone working together to solve problems in unexpected ways that create profound advantages. If everyone is doing their job, they are being creative. It’s about being resourceful and connecting the dots in a way that adds vitality and energy to every initiative.”

A graduate of CU Boulder, and the Art Center College of Design, Norm is passionate about helping organizations and diverse teams learn new and effective problem solving skills and creative thinking processes to increase innovation and effective strategies. In 2015, Norm and his business parter, Joe Conrad, launched Grit Digital Health — creating innovative digital products and tools for mental and behavioral health, with a specific product focus on student success and wellness.

With over 25 years of experience in advertising and branding, Norm’s blue-collar, “work hard, play hard” approach to creative earned Cactus accolades from Cannes, The One Show, SXSW and countless others.

Norm shares his ample knowledge (and Dad jokes) as a guest lecturer in his spare time, speaking on creative thinking and design. He served as an Adjunct Professor for eight years at his alma mater, CU Boulder, and was named Alumni of the Year for CU’s Advertising and Journalism School in 2013.